horse event clothing

Equestrian Clothing for Horse Eventing

Crossing over from an amateur horse rider to a competitive one is an exciting time. Horse eventing is a fabulous sport that offers challenge, fun, and excitement all in one. And whether you’re looking to reach the top of the leader’s board, or just want to have some goodhearted competitive fun, it takes skill and practice to participate in horse eventing.

One thing that some riders are unsure about when it comes to horse eventing is what to wear. Balancing regulations, safety, and style in your equestrian clothing for horse eventing is an important task!

Here’s everything you need to know about equestrian clothing for horse eventing in the UK—what to wear and what the regulations are.

Types of Horse Eventing

In the UK, there are two types of horse eventing:

  • Affiliated events, or those governed by British Eventing (BE), the national governing body for the sport. BE is an organization of over 15,000 members who pay an annual fee to join.
  • Unaffiliated events, or those not governed by BE. Horse Events advertises the variety of unaffiliated events happening around the UK. These can range from one day events to larger multi-day ones.

Because affiliated events are governed by a specific authority, the rules for dress are more specific. We’ll cover equestrian clothing for affiliated horse eventing here in detail.

Unaffiliated events differ in their requirements and are less stringent than affiliated events. However, matching the BE guidelines for unaffiliated events is a good rule of thumb to follow. If you are not sure exactly what horse riding clothing to wear for these events, contact the event organizer to find out.

Equestrian Clothing for Horse Eventing

The type of equestrian clothing you wear for horse eventing depends on a few different factors including the type of event (i.e., dressage, cross-country, or show jumping) and skill level.

Horse riding clothing has a long history, which is why there are certain classic styles and equestrian clothing items that are worn during competitions and horse eventing. Styles have, obviously, modernized, but you still see iconic horse-riding clothing being worn in these events. Style is combined with function—comfort and the ability to move—and safety as well.

Horse eventing clothing is different from what you’d wear training or going for a casual ride. Our Equicoat, for example, is designed to keep you dry and warm in any weather, but it does not meet the standards for horse eventing. But it will help you train and be in the best position you can be for your next event!

Equestrian Clothing for Dressage Horse Eventing

All riders need to wear a helmet (black or dark blue) that meets or surpasses the standards set out by ASTM or SEI (Safety Equipment Institute).

In addition to a helmet, riders should wear:

  • A riding coat—dark blue or black for intermediate, advanced intermediate, or advance riders; a single conservative colour for anyone intermediate or below.
  • White or another muted colour shirt
  • Beige or white riding breeches
  • Tan, black, beige, or white gloves
  • Riding boots—plain black for intermediate or above; brown or black for below intermediate.

Equestrian Clothing for Cross-Country Horse Eventing

Equestrian clothing for cross-country events has more safety gear than dressage. Here’s what you need to wear for this type of event:

  • Light-weight clothing, such as a sweater or base layer shirt
  • White, buff, or fawn breeches
  • Plain black boots
  • A helmet that meets ASTM or SEI standards
  • Body protector that meets the BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) standards

Equestrian Clothing for Show Jumping Horse Eventing

The last type of event is show jumping, which has its own requirements for what to wear. Along with a helmet like the other two, riders should wear:

  • A dark coloured coat
  • White or another muted coloured shirt
  • Stock or tie
  • Light coloured riding breeches
  • Tall black or brown riding boots

In addition to what equestrian clothing to wear for these events, there are some other important things to note. When picking out your horse-riding clothing before a competition, consider these things:

  • A whip of 75cm may be carried for the cross-country phase, but is not permitted during the dressage event
  • Bibs with competitor numbers must be always worn and visible
  • Long hair must always be secured appropriately
  • Jewellery is not advised as there is an increased risk of injury
  • Headwear for cross-country events must not have a peak on it or extend above the eyes further than 5mm.


The type of horse-riding clothing you need for eventing depends on skill level and the type of event. There are fairly strict guidelines for any event affiliated with British Eventing, and you can use these same guidelines for unaffiliated events as well.

Equestrian clothing for eventing is a mix of classic fashion, function, and safety. So, keep these things in mind when picking out your wardrobe. Then, go out and have some fun!

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